Marine products export targeted to touch $20 bn in five years

Marine Products Export Development Authority, into its Golden Jubilee Year, will identify 20 export markets accounting for 90% of exports

An ambitious plan to chalk out export development that would target export of US$ 20 billion in the next five years has been lined up by the Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA). To achieve this target, a growth rate of about 15 percent would have to be reached, and the MPEDA will look towards sustaining and speeding up the growth tempo in this regard.

MPEDA will identify around 20 export markets which account for about 90 per cent of exports and assign each market to an officer, who would be tasked with gauging the export potential and monitoring the market trends. Further, other plans include publishing a monthly market update and preparing a buyers’ directory for distribution among the exporters.

As states play a significant role in the implementation of various activities of MPEDA, preparing a state-wise export development plan in consultation with states would be prioritised. The organisation is exploring the option of identifying entrepreneurs to export seafood in rupees to Russia.

India’s marine products are a global brand. They have also withstood major completion from all around and stayed strong even in difficult times. All this has been possible due to the efforts of the Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA), which now completes five decades that are marked by breakthroughs and improved infrastructure, apart from providing a considerable impetus to the seafood industry in the country’s coastal states.

MPEDA all set to celebrate Golden Jubilee

Launched in 1972 as a statutory body of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, MPEDA is all set to celebrate the Golden Jubilee of its eventful existence, with India’s marine exports touching 1.4 million tonnes (Rs 57,586 crore) as against just 35,523 tonnes in the year of inception and the delectable products finding a stamp of approval from seafood gourmets from across the globe.

Union Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Anupriya Patel will kick-start the event in the city today, at Kochi, where the distribution of the MPEDA Export Awards and Champions trophy of MPEDA Golden Jubilee Marine Quest 2022 will also get underway.

Overlapping with the country’s 75th Independence Day festivities under Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav, the event will be attended by Diwakar Nath Misra, Joint Secretary, Department of Commerce, Govt. of India; MPEDA ex-Chairman T.K.A Nair (former Principal Secretary and Advisor to Prime Minister), Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation Chairman Paul Antony (Kerala’s former Chief Secretary); and Seafood Exporters Association of India (SEAI) National President Jagadish Fofandi.

According to MPEDA Chairman Dodda Venkata Swamy, the Golden Jubilee comes amid its continued efforts to capitalise on the milestones reflected in its fundamental focus on capture fisheries, value-added products and market promotion, besides establishing a Pan-India network while invigorating quality and sustainability. “We are readying to host the 23rd edition of the biennial India International Seafood Show (IISS). The February 2023 event at Kolkata will provide an ideal platform for interaction between Indian exporters and overseas importers of India’s marine products,” he added.

MPEDA began its current decade with a significant deal with Cochin Port Trust to modernise Cochin Fisheries Harbour with more than a dozen key features that will enhance the unit value of sea-caught items and minimise post-harvest losses, Swamy said. The September 2020 MoU facilitated the Rs 140-crore project that will mobilise resources from various Central government schemes.

Major programmes kicked off by Marine Products Export Development Authority

In order to broad-base its programmes and activities, MPEDA has set up three allied bodies like RGCA (Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Aquaculture) at Sirkali in Tamil Nadu, which promotes diversified aquaculture such as seabass, mud crab and GIFT (Tilapia) and is also engaged in the revival of Black Tiger shrimp in Andaman. The other two arms of MPEDA are NETFISH (Network for Fish Quality Management and Sustainable Fishing) at Kochi, which provides extension services to fishers and collects real-time catch data and supports in the validation of catch certification for exports, and NaCSA (National Centre for Sustainable Aquaculture) at Kakinada in Andhra Pradesh, which promotes cluster farming, provides financial assistance for common infrastructure facilities.

MPEDA also launched e-SANTA, an e-commerce platform connecting farmers and exporters. Another significant achievement was launching a system validating EU catch and ICCAT (The International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas) certificates, besides opening 16 ELISA labs for pre-harvest testing. The last decade saw it starting 20 Aqua One Centres for farmers, providing SHAPHARI Certification for residue-free shrimps, virtual commerce platform e-SANTA and earning a patent for mud-crab hatchery technology.

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